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November 18, 2010
Holliman welcomes high praise
ARMY AA BOWL: Army All-American selection tour | U.S. Army AA announcement tour gallery
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl selection tour made another stop in the Sunshine State, this time making the way to Miami (Fla.) Southridge. On Thursday's invite list was one of the best prospects in Dade County, safety Gerrod Holliman.
If you listen to Southridge coach Patrick Burrows, Holliman is in the discussion for being the top safety in the nation.
"I have been around some of the top defensive backs in the nation," Burrows said during Thursday's ceremony. "I have driven to maybe about 20 schools throughout the country, I coached in the U.S. Army game last year, and Gerrod Holliman is the best safety in the nation. I have seen them all and Gerrod Holliman is the greatest. He has 11 interceptions, is a fantastic offensive player and a great special teams player. He is a tremendous athlete."
The 6-foot, 180-pound defensive back doesn't disagree with his coach's assertion of him being an elite talent in the secondary.
"I appreciate what Coach said," Holliman said. "I feel the same way. I don't see anyone as good as me at my position."
When the Rivals100 prospect makes his way to San Antonio, Texas, for the January game, his focus is on taking home some hardware and proving himself on a national stage.
"I want to be named the MVP of the game," Holliman said. "So I am going to work hard and do what I have to do."
For the four-star defensive back, Thursday marked the completion of a dream he has had since his freshman year of high school when he saw a former teammate participate in the game.
"This is one of my first goals as a ninth-grader when I saw Marcus Robinson playing in it," Holliman said. "That was my No. 1 goal to complete in high school."
So when he found out as a junior that he would be part of the game, it marked a proud day for Holliman.
"I was very excited," Holliman said. "I was glad to be one of the top players to be announced, invited to the game. I was real happy."
Now that the invite is official, Holliman is ready to get to San Antonio in early January and put on the East jersey.
"I really like that it feels like a college game when I was watching it," Holliman said. "I just can't imagine how it is going to feel playing in one."
Back in July, Holliman pledged his services to Ole Miss. Since that time, he has taken an official visit to Louisville and said that he will check out all of his options. Following Thursday's ceremony, he spoke about where his commitment stands at this time.
"Right now it is just a verbal (commitment)," Holliman said. "I am still going to take all five of my visits and see what happens from there."
As for the official visit he took to Louisville in early October, he came away impressed with coach Charlie Strong's program.
"I love the coaches - they are Florida coaches," Holliman said. "Cool to be around the players, great atmosphere. I can see myself being a starter my first year out there."
He is now making plans for his remaining four officials.
"The trip to West Virginia had gotten canceled but I think we are going to be able to reschedule that later on after the season is over," Holliman said. "Right now my next visit is to Ole Miss when they play Mississippi State (Nov. 27.)
"I want to take a visit to Cincinnati and Oregon. Florida and LSU (are also in the picture)."
Before departing the Southridge gymnasium, Holliman was asked if he saw himself signing with Houston Nutt's Rebels in February.
"As of now, I am really not sure," Holliman said.
The U.S. Army All American Bowl will be played Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011, at the Alamodome and will be nationally televised by NBC.